Flora Payne Whitney
|Died||18 July 1986 88) (aged|
Glen Cove, New York, U.S.
|Education|| Brearley School |
|Occupation||Patron of the arts|
(m. 1920;div. 1925)
George Macculloch Miller III
(m. 1927;died 1972)
|Children||4, including Whitney Tower and Flora Miller Biddle|
|Parent(s)|| Harry Payne Whitney |
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
Flora Payne Whitney, also known as Flora Whitney Miller (July 27, 1897 – July 18, 1986), was an American artist and socialite,art collector, and patron of the arts.
Flora Payne Whitney was born on July 27, 1897 and raised in Manhattan. Her father was Harry Payne Whitney (1872–1930), a sportsman and heir to the Whitney family fortune, and her mother was Gertrude Vanderbilt (1875–1942), heiress to a substantial part of the Vanderbilt family fortune. She attended Brearley School in New York and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, where she met and became close lifelong friends with the artist Kay Sage.
During World War I, she worked with Ruth Hanna McCormick, wife of Senator Joseph M. McCormick, at the Washington headquarters of the Republican Women's National Executive Committee.
Whitney worked closely with her mother, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in the founding and endowing of the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. After her mother's death, Whitney served as President of the Museum from 1941 until 1966, and as chairman from 1966 through 1974. Whitney's daughter and granddaughter remain active in museum affairs to this day.
On August 4, 1916, Whitney made her debut at "The Reefs," the Payne-Whitney "cottage" in Newport, Rhode Island.She was escorted by Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, although her father did not approve of young Roosevelt. After the United States entered World War I, Quentin enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Service, and became engaged to Whitney before leaving for duty overseas. The glamorous young couple never married, since Quentin was killed in aerial combat in July, 1918. Love letters exchanged between Flora and Quentin while he was at the front were featured in Edward Renehan's book about TR's sons, The Lion's Pride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).
In 1920, Whitney married Roderick Tower at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York.He was an aviator who had trained with Quentin Roosevelt at Mineola air field on Long Island. Tower was also a stockbroker, and son of U.S. Ambassador to Russia and Germany Charlemagne Tower, Jr. The marriage was a failure, however, due to Tower's drinking and infidelity. Before their divorce in August 1925, they had two children together:
In 1927, Whitney married George Macculloch Miller III (d. 1972)in Cairo, Egypt. Miller was an artist and member of the architectural firm of Noel & Miller, from 1930 to 1948, and a grandson of George Macculloch Miller (1832–1917), the founder what would become the United Hospital Fund. The marriage to "Cully" Miller was long and happy, and Whitney had two more children:
She died on July 18, 1986 at Community Hospital in Glen Cove, New York.
Whitney's grandson John LeBoutillier is a political columnist and commentator and a one-term U.S. Representative representing a Long Island district. Her great-grandson, Josiah Hornblower (son of Whitney Tower's daughter, Alexandra Tower Hornblower Thorne) was featured in the documentary Born Rich .
|Ancestors of Flora Payne Whitney|
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was an American sculptor, art patron and collector, and founder in 1931 of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. She was a prominent social figure and hostess, who was born into the wealthy Vanderbilt family and married into the Whitney family.
Harry Payne Whitney was an American businessman, thoroughbred horse breeder, and member of the prominent Whitney family.
Dorothy Payne Whitney Elmhirst was an American-born social activist, philanthropist, publisher and a member of the prominent Whitney family.
Pauline Payne Whitney Paget, was an American heiress and a member of the prominent Whitney family.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney was an American businessman, film producer, government official, writer and philanthropist. He was also a polo player and the owner of a significant stable of Thoroughbred racehorses.
John LeBoutillier is an American political columnist, pundit, and former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New York, serving a single two-year term.
Edwin Denison "Eddie" Morgan III was an American businessman and Pioneer Fund director from 2000 to 2001.
Whitney Tower was an American journalist reporting on Thoroughbred horse racing and a president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Marie Harriman was an American art collector and First Lady of New York from 1955 to 1958. She was the second wife of former New York Governor and diplomat Averell Harriman. Harriman operated a prominent New York City art gallery for more than a decade.
Alice Claypoole Vanderbilt was the wife of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and reigned as the matriarch of the Vanderbilt family for over 60 years.
Edith, Lady Queenborough was a New York socialite, author, conspiracy theorist, and anti-Mormon agitator.
Helen Julia Hay Whitney was an American poet, writer, racehorse owner/breeder, socialite, and philanthropist. She was a member by marriage of the prominent Whitney family of New York.
Charles Shipman Payson was the owner of the New York Mets of the National League from 1975 through 1980. In 1975, he inherited the club upon the death of his wife, Mets founder Joan Whitney.
Olive, Lady Baillie was an Anglo-American heiress, landowner and hostess. She is best known as the owner of Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, England. On her death the castle was bequeathed to a charitable trust to enable it to be open to the public.
George Macculloch Miller, was a prominent lawyer and secretary of Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt was a member of the Vanderbilt family. He was the father of Gloria Vanderbilt and maternal grandfather of Anderson Cooper. An avid equestrian, Vanderbilt was the founder and president of many equestrian organizations. He gambled away most of his inheritance.
Henry "Harry" Payne Bingham was an American financier, sportsman, art patron and philanthropist. He funded a series of expeditions to study marine life.
Flora Payne Whitney was an American socialite and philanthropist, originally from Cleveland, Ohio who moved to New York City and married into the Whitney family. She was the daughter of Henry B. Payne, a U.S. Senator, and the wife of William Collins Whitney, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
Mary Cathleen Vanderbilt Cushing Lowman Arostegui was an American heiress and member of the Vanderbilt family.
Flora Miller Biddle is an American author, honorary chairman, and former president of the Whitney Museum of American Art, serving from 1977 to 1995. She is the granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the founder of the Whitney Museum.
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